Aug 11, 2020
Aug 12, 2020
Aug 13, 2020
Arapahoe Basin has committed to reducing its environmental footprint and achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. Here are some of the completed projects that will help us achieve our goal.
2019/20 season - Stone Paper Trail Maps: A-Basin switched to stone paper trail maps. The paper is literally made from stone; 1 ton of stone paper saves 20 trees and 16,000 gallons of water. Stone paper uses no trees, water or chemicals in production, and is made of 80-85 percent pre-consumer waste stone. The durable maps are also waterproof and tear resistant. Please return your map at the end of the day if you no longer need it; we will re-use it!
2019 – Fuel Offsets to Reduce Carbon Emissions: A-Basin began offsetting all of its ski-area fuel use—including gasoline, diesel and propane—through the Colorado Carbon Fund (CCF) as part of its overall goal to reduce its net emissions. The offsets cover the ski area’s snowcats, snowmobiles, highway vehicles, heavy equipment, cooking appliances, building heat and auxiliary power motors for the lifts. A-Basin chose to partner with the CCF in order to support Colorado projects such as grassland protection, carbon sequestration farming and the Larimer Gas to Energy Project.
2018 – National Forest Foundation’s Ski Conservation Fund: Since 2011, A-Basin has been a key partner in the National Forest Foundation’s Ski Conservation Fund program, encouraging guests to make contributions benefiting the White River National Forest. Since the partnership began, A-Basin has collected over $34,000 in guest donations. In 2018 alone, the Basin's guests donated $5,390 toward conservation of the surrounding National Forest lands. The funding raised by A-Basin has contributed to 9 grants to date, each making possible a unique project benefiting the White River National Forest, and employing and involving local and regional individuals.
- Projects completed in 2018: 5.5 miles of trails improved; 1,524 volunteers; 10,668 volunteer hours; 284 trees and shrubs planted
2018 – Renewable Energy; Snowmaking Powered 100% by Solar: A-Basin enrolled in Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect program. Renewable Connect made it possible for businesses large and small to gain equal access to a new, large-scale solar project Xcel energy developed in eastern Colorado. By enrolling, A-Basin was able to obtain 20 percent of its overall electricity usage directly from this renewable energy project—enough to power a significant portion of making snow and running chairlifts.
2017 – Summit Solar Array: In October 2017, the ski area installed the ski area's second solar array at the summit, atop the Snowplume Refuge/Patrol Headquarters building. The array consists of 30 solar panels capable of generating 8.26kW of energy, and will provide approximately 95% of the energy that building uses.
2015 – FreeAire Refrigeration: In December of 2015, the ski area installed a FreeAire refrigeration economizer one of the A-Frame lodge’s walk-in coolers. The FreeAire system monitors indoor and outdoor temperature, cycling clean mountain air into the cooler whenever the outside air temperature falls below a certain point. By utilizing existing cold air, the walk-in’s evaporator and condenser motors remain idle much of the time; this reduces energy usage, the need to run defrost cycles in the coolers and the need to repair worn down machinery, all of which saves significant energy.
2015 – New, Efficient Kids Center: In March of 2015, A-Basin completed construction of its brand new Kids Center. Housing kids ski school, along with a first aid clinic and ski patrol locker room, the Kids Center incorporated sustainable building practices throughout its design and construction – from efficient heating and cooling systems, to water-saving fixtures, to repurposed barn wood and beetlekill pine. Most notably, the south roof features a 13.5 kW solar array, which produces about 15 MW of solar energy per season.
2014 – Waste-Oil Furnace: A-Basin installed a new furnace in its vehicle and lift maintenance building. The CleanBurn Technologies furnace is able to burn waste motor oil, hydraulic fluid, and other engine waste to heat the building. Through oil changes for our commercial fleet and our personal vehicles, the auxiliary motors on our chairlifts and other sources, we’re able to purchase less and less propane each year. We also limit the need for hauling our waste oil off-site via costly, polluting trucks.
2013 – 6th Alley Vestibules: The ski area completed a massive upgrade to the 6th Alley Bar & Grill in 2013. The new restaurant incorporated energy-saving vestibules at all entrances. Using two sets of swinging doors, these vestibules prevent cold outside air from infiltrating the building whenever the doors open, leading to significant energy savings.
2012 – Lighting Retrofit: Over 500 light bulbs in our base area and on-mountain facilities were replaced with newer, more efficient bulbs. Incandescent bulbs were upgraded to CFLs and LEDs, while fluorescent T12 bulbs were switched to T8s. These upgrades saved more than 53,000 kWh and 37 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
2003 - Snowmaking System Installed: Completed during the fall of 2003, the highly-efficient, mostly airless snowmaking system was the first major step toward improving the environmental performance of a major operation at the ski area. Along with strict water-use commitments, the new snowmaking system uses only a portion the energy a conventional snowmaking system would.